‘What is it with girls calling losing weight and getting Fit a journey?’ was my boyfriend’s question to me as we got ready to leave the house. After I made a comment about someone else’s fitness journey he started to laugh while he brushed his teeth. “You wouldn’t understand” I said. “It’s bulshit” was his answer “it’s just about eating less and exercising more”. This got me thinking, is that all there is to a fitness journey? In part he is right. It is about working out more and eating less. But that’s only the surface to it…
It does not strike me as surprise that my boyfriend doesn’t really understand the concept of a fitness journey. To begin with he is a guy, and they are in most part more rational than women. Guys also see results much faster than women when they start working out and eating healthier. Plus, he has never been overweight. On the contrary, gaining weight for him is as difficult as it is for a girl with slow metabolism to lose weight. And last, he has never had an issue with food. He sees food for what it is, food. Unlike me, and many of other girls who see food as a an emotional pleasure. Yes I’m talking about binge eating, comfort eating or as the saying says “eating your emotions”. But enough about him. Let’s get to the point.
Why do we call losing weight and getting Fit a ‘journey’? Here are my thoughts about it:
On the surface the formula to lose weight is very straightforward and effective…if you are a robot. But once you add the human factor to it, the thing becomes tricky.
Before we get more deep, let’s first define the actual meaning of the word journey. According to the Oxford dictionary ‘journey’ can be either a verb or a noun. The first definition of it under the noun category is as follows: “an act of travelling from one place to another”. Ok this doesn’t add anything useful. But what about the second definition which says that journey is “a long and often difficult process of personal change and development”. Voilà, first proof that losing weight and becoming fit is indeed a journey. But why is this process so hard? And why is calling it a journey something some people don’t understand?
The challenges you face that no one tells you about in your Fit journey
There is probably a reason why you decided to start this process. Maybe you just felt you needed to be healthier. Or maybe you hit your lowest point and realized it was time to make a change. From what I’ve seen and my own experience I can say that usually it takes for someone to hit rock bottom to want to start this journey. And let me be clear about something. Everyone hits rock bottom in a different way. While for some hitting rock bottom may be gaining 5 kilos, for others it could be gaining 20. Hitting rock bottom means you have come to that place where you are unhappy with yourself.
As I was saying, there are some challenges you face when you are trying to lose weight and get Fit that no one tells you about. Perhaps because they never faced those obstacles themselves? Or perharps because when they did they decided to quit. Whichever is the real reason for some people losing weight is harder than for others.
Losing weight is hard when all you think about is food. Losing weight is hard when you’ve carried it with you for long. Losing weight is hard when you have a slow metabolism. Losing weight is hard when you are an emotional eater. Losing weight is hard when you live with people who don’t take care of what they eat in front of you. Losing weight is hard when you have so many bad habits. Losing weight is hard when you are not used to exercising. Losing weight is hard when you have low self-esteem. Losing weight is hard when you try and you don’t see results. Losing weight is hard for MANY reasons. And that is just the first part of the journey.
Once you lost the weight is time to get Fit and work out those muscles. But damn is this harder than anyone ever said it would be! You’ve come this far, you lost all the extra weight and now you want to have defined abs and arms. You hit the gym, the first 4 to 6 months your motivation is as high as it can be. You, however don’t see results as fast as you wished you would. You want to keep your motivation, but before you know it you have gotten yourself into a workout funk. “Why am I feeling less motivated to work out when a few months back I loved it?” You ask yourself. “Why don’t I see results?” You think. Then for some reason you find your motivation again and you keep going and continue your journey.
My point is, losing weight and keeping it off for good as well as getting fit is HARD. It is more than eating less and exercising more. It is wanting something and working hard towards it. It is not losing your patience. It is learning to eat less and healthier. It is learning to LOVE your body and nurture it. It is not eating that pizza you love. It is getting out of the couch even when you don’t feel like it. It is controlling your hunger and anxiety. It is following inspirational Instagram accounts. It is educating yourself when it comes to exercises. It is not being shy to make a full of yourself at the gym when you try an exercise for the first time. It is gaining strength, both in your muscles and in your mind. It is battling against bad habits, old demons, low self-esteem and above all that feeling of quitting.
Why is it a journey? Because you can’t do it overnight. It’s gonna take time, more than you think! It will be harder than you expect. You will want to quit and in fact you probably will do so at some point. It is going to cost sweat and pain but in the end when you get to where you want to be, then you realize it was worth it!
Dear boyfriend, does this answer your question?
Do you understand now, why we call losing weight and getting fit a journey, my love? Because it is a never-ending process for people who once have battle with unhealthy habits, unhealthy weight and unhealthy mindset. The journey never stops. It does gets easier at some point though. But along the way there will be falls. You will stop working out as often as before. You will gain some weight back. You will feel disappointed at some point for this. You will find it weird to adapt your new healthy lifestyle into your hectic life (both social and professional). You will get obsessed with your weight for a bit. You will strive to find balance. But at some point you will find it, and this journey will become your new lifestyle.
So next time you ask me, ‘why do girls call losing weight and getting fit, a journey’ my answer will be: “Because it is a long difficult process. It’s a process that tests your will, and its damn hard. And only people who have been in both sides of the coin will understand. The journey is not only about losing weight and getting fit. The journey is about learning to LOVE yourself that much that you want to be a better version of yourself ”
This article is dedicated to all my fellow Fit Girls who have found obstacles in their journey. I am perfectly aware that for some people their fitness journey is easier than for others. But if you at any point have thought about quiting, have had setbacks, have gained back the weight you initially lost, or whatever other obstacle you may have encounter. Then this article is for you as much as it is for me. I hope you liked reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know in the comments!